April 1st, 2013
Strengthening Families Self-Assessment & Analysis
The Strengthening Families initiative is a strength based approach in preventing child abuse and neglect. It focuses on providing support, education and services for families with the intent to limit the likelihood of abuse and neglect for at risk families. There are five protective that are the foundation of the strengthening families approach. They are as follows: Parent Resilience
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficulties. There are two parts to resilience. The first is to be able to recognize and acknowledge difficulties and the feelings that go along with challenging events and situations. The second part of resilience is the ability to have hope, to problem solve and to take action in the midst of difficult events and feelings. Social Connections
Whenever a family is isolated from family or community, the children are more at risk. Many parents naturally develop friendships with other parents they meet in the child care program, but others may need help establishing those social connections. Building trusting relationships with all families and helping isolated families connect with other parents strengthens parenting skills and protects the children. Knowledge of Child Development and Parenting
Parents with knowledge about parenting and their own child’s development have more appropriate expectations and use more developmentally appropriate guidance techniques. Early care and education professionals have a wealth of knowledge about child development that they can share with parents, whether through an informal conversation, in a class, or by sharing brochures and other written information with parents. Most parents truly want to do what is best for their children but need help to gain knowledge and information. Concrete Support in Times of Need
When families are in crisis, the children are more protected if the family gets access to the resources they need relatively quickly. Early care and education professionals may not personally provide those resources, but they can provide appropriate referrals and follow-up to families who need immediate support. Social Emotional Competence of Children
Children who attend high quality early childhood education get support for healthy social emotional development in many ways. They learn how to identify their feelings, empathize with the feelings of others, share emotions appropriately, and problem solve with peers and adults. The children bring these skills home and affect the ways they interact with their families and how others interact with them. By focusing on these 5 important factors, Early Childhood Programs can help to build strong family relationships and foster trust with parents and hopefully eradicate the possibility of abuse and neglect.
Results of Self- Assessment for The Children’s Place Association Early Learning Center
1) Facilitate Friendships and Mutual Support
The Children’s Place Association works hard to foster a warm and inviting environment for parents, children and families. All of our classrooms have an open door policy and parents are welcome to come in and visit in their children’s classrooms as well as take advantage of resources available to them in the center. Parents are welcome to attend field trip although because of budget cuts we had to eliminate one of our buses and can no longer accommodate as many parents. We do offer monthly family fun night activities for families, children and staff to connect and nurture relationships. These events are at no cost to the families and often parents have commented that they are extremely happy to go places with their children they might never have had the chance or resources to visit such as a baseball game, museum, amusement park or the zoo. 2) Strengthen Parenting
Our center scored well in this area as a...
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